Monday, March 31, 2014

Is Amway A Good Opportunity?

Over the years I have been debating with Amway supporters, I cannot see what is so great about the Amway opportunity. Are some of these Amway defenders that stupid or dense that they truly believe that a business where one out of a few hundred people might make a profit and most of the remaining IBOs will lose money is a good opportunity? I'm not talking about people who sign up and "do nothing". Many IBOs sign up and put in a great deal of time, effort and money, only to find out that the system simply does not work (especially in the US) and they make a business decision to quit and/or to do something else.

Of course there are some people who make money in Amway. If nobody made money, then the opportunity would cease to exist. But it is basically exploitation of the downline that accounts for upline success. Amway's admission that sales to non IBOs are low, confirms this. Thus certain upline make their income from their downline's PV volume, and on tool purchases. I mean even a lottery has winners. Even ponzi schemes and other questionable opportunties have some winners. This is not to suggest that Amway in not legal. Amway is perfectly legal, but the way the opportunity is set up, those who profit, primarily do so at the expense of their trusted downline.

There are no groups that I know of where all the IBOs can win and earn a profit. I would guess that there might be a few rogue groups who only focus on retail sales, and while these groups can be profitable as a group, they are few and far between. This is because most IBOs fall under an LOS such as WWDB, BWW, LTD or N21, and these groups all seemingly focus on recruiting of new IBOs. Yes, they may sprinkle in some suggeestions about selling goods, but generally speaking, their "training" materials consist of motivation speeches, feel good stories (whether true or not), and the theme of never quitting while continuing to purchase more tools.

Some upline have the nerve to start teaching downline that their Amway business is not about making money, but to save your marriage, make you a nicer person, or some other diversion to make you forget that you are losing money month after month after month. Some groups even mix in religion and politics into their functions and meetings. As far as I can see, the typical business buildiing IBO signs up, gets some of the tools and attends a few functions, and finds that the products are hard to sell because they are not priced competetively with other retailers, and that a damaged reputation is nearly impossible to overcome. These IBOs realize they are not going anywhere, and they walk away, chalking up the losses as a life lesson. But apparently, many uplines who lied and deceived in the past are continuing to do so today, often just revising history for their benefit (i.e. lying about making any profit on tools).

Many IBOs, prospects, information seekers and critics read this blog. My question is very simple. What is so great about the Amway opportunity? For most, it is just a bad use of time and money. While some may exist, I don't know of a single person who "did the work once" and sat back collecting barrels of Amway money while sipping Mai Tais on the beaches of Jamaica. I see crown ambassadors working as hard today as they did many years ago. Diamonds losing homes to forclosures, a prominent diamond in bankruptcy proceedings, and a hoard of WWDB diamonds apparently selling off mansions that they allegedly paid for in cash. (It os quite possible that their lifestyles are simply not sustainable).

Where is the benefit in the business for the typical IBO? Just as there are some diamonds, there are lottery winners. Displaying a lottery winner doesn't make it prudent to spend your money on lottery tickets. Displaying a diamond's lifestyle doesn't make Amway a good opportunity. While Amway is a business and not a game of chance, the results of either, sadly are eerily similar - that is a few winners and millions of non winners.

What is so great about the Amway opportunity? I don't see it.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Is Amway A Tough Business?

There are some folks who try to sell the Amway opportunity as one that works in a good or bad economy. The pitch might be that people need household products such as soap or cleaners in a good or bad economy. While that may be true, in a tough economy, people will be looking for the bottom line, or the cheapest price. That is why Walmart is wildy successful. Walmart's slogan is "live better, save money". Being that Walmart sales exceed 400 billion dollars, it means that one day's sales exceeds Amway's annual sales. Clearly, price is important to consumers.

Amway apologists like to cite that not everyone buys a Porsche or a Lexus. While that is true, it is ridiculous to think Amway products are a Porsche or Lexus compared to other household products, and that consumers in general, even care about issues like that. What do IBOs do? Brag that their laundry soap is better than their neighbors? I have the porsche of dish washing soap? I have the cadillac of toothpaste. Seriously?

Another silly tactic that some Amwayers employ is to drop names such as Robert Kiyosaki, or Warren Buffet, or Donald Trump. The fact of the matter is Robert Kiyosaki makes him money from Network Marketers, not from Network Marketing. Or, he's selling the IBOs books and seminars. Warren Buffet and Trump apparently own MLM companies, thus they also profit FROM network marketers and not from distributing the good themselves. It's a silly argument and anyone with some discernment can see right through it. I even see rumors spread by some IBOs that various movie stars or celebrities are involved in Amway. The truth is that there are some celebrities that are involved with Amway, but typically, they are paid to endorse Amway rather than being rank and file IBOs.

That brings us to whether Amway is a viable business opportunity. Let me put a disclaimer that people who may try to sell goods without participating in the training system might have a chance to make a few dollars, but these folks are quite rare. Many people get drawn into going diamond and chasing a dream. It is why you see big functions and conventions of people chasing dreams that likely won't come to pass. The typical IBO doesn't do much, if anything at all. Out of those who actually put in effort, a fraction of 1% might go platinum and an even smaller fraction of 1% might make some money. Amway's own numbers and the plan shown by many IBOs confirm this. Amway says the average "active" IBO makes just over $100 a month. We also know that it takes about 100 IBOs or more to form a platinum group. We know that many IBOs do little or nothing. That already provides a clear picture that only a small percentage of IBOs can ever reach that platinum level where you might net a small profit, depending on your business expenses.

Factoring in the Amway reputation and you have a very tough business opportunity. Now Amway itself may have done good things, but IBOs themselves have ruined the Amway name. They have lied or tricked people into attending recruitment meetings, or they have called people broke or losers, and even now, there is an IBO who frequents this blog, claming to be in BWW, that slings muds and name calls this blog author. For these reasons, Amway is a very tough business to succeed in, regardless of your level of effort.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Building Your Amway Dreams?

One of the issues I have with the Amway plan is that the newest IBO, possibly the one who does the most "Work", receives the smallest compensation. Amway pays about 32% of their income back in the form of bonuses. An IBO who does 100 PV receives a 3% bonus and somewhere, uplines and sponsors receive the rest. Some of the upline may not have even met the IBO who actually did the work. Is that really fair and is that a level playing field? What do some of these uplines do to deserve the lion's share of the bonus you worked to get? Yes, the upline diamond may show the plan in an open meeting, which may help you, but then again, you pay for entrance into that meeting.

Many uplines will talk about dreams and fulfilling your dreams. But if an IBO would stop and think for a moment, you can easily see that you are building the dreams of your upline, and not your own. You receive a tiny portion of the bonus for the volume that you move, and then in addition, if you are on the system, then you are also paying upline in the form of tool purchases for the privilege of giving them bonuses with your product purchases.

It is why your upline diamonds can parade around on stage with designer suits and show you their fancy cars and mansions and other toys. It is because they are cashing in on your efforts. You are making their dreams come true. Your dedication to moving volume and purchasing standing orders are fulfilling dreams. The upline dreams. Yes, someday you can hope to have your own group of downline to exploit for your own benefit, but unless you are adding members to your group, you will never achieve the kinds of dreams that uplines talk about. In the meantime though, you are definitely helping someone upline achieve their dreams with every function you attend. Ironically, the upline leaders will tell you to never quit, even if they don't know your personal circumstances.

Here's a challenge for IBOs and/or prospects who are being recruited into the Amway business. 100 PV will cost around $300 a month (depends on whether you buy CORE items or not) and dedication to the tools system (cds, seminars, books, voicemail) will cost you around $200 a month on average (more for couples). Would you not be better off simply writing a check to your upline for $100 and not even joining? Would you not be better off staying home and watching television instead of joining? If you read all of the information available on this blog and still decide to join, good luck to you, but remember this: Whose dreams are being fulfilled by your participation? Yours or your upline?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Transparency Of A Dreamer

Apparently, Joecool has a new fan. A WWDB IBO who runs the blog called "Transparency Of A Dreamer".

This blog is run by Cameron, who is apparently a WWDB IBO. I used to follow a blog called WWDB Expeditions Of Truth authored by Shaun Guthrie. Both apparently hail from Canada. What I find humorous is how Cameron uses the word "transparency" in his blog title. Cameron, like Shaun, does not allow comments on his blog. I find it odd how pro-Amway blogs often do not allow comments unless they are positive about Amway. What are they afraid of? Hmm.

Cameron says on his blog:
Dream Builder training and mentorship system while being “transparent” in my success’ but MOST IMPORTANTLY my non-success. As a dreamer I identify myself as wanting and desiring more for myself, my family, my friends and my associates. Thus – Transparency of a Dreamer.

When I chose the name of this blog I chose it because I felt that there was a lack of integrity and transparency in how information / experience was shared.

My question to Cameron is why doesn't he allow comments, or transparency on his own blog?

He openly criticizes me because he feels I have some hatred towards Amway and WWDB. That is not true. I don't hate anyone. My blog is about my experiences in Amway and WWDB and some of the bad practices that WWDB leaders employed. Based on my observations of Shaun Guthrie's blog, I can say some of the same practices I saw over ten years ago still happen now. Shaun's blog is now gone (because he quit??) but he spoke of getting out of debt (which is good) but he did so by selling his home and cashing out his 401K. He spoke of buying homes in cash, and abut a 2% divorce rate in Amway/WWDB which is a dicey claim at best. I often hear how Amway/WWDB has changed but here we have the same leaders teaching the same stuff. What exactly has changed? I might add that WWDB leaders in my day LIED and said nobody made a profit from tools. Now that the lie has been exposed, they admit profit is made on tools but none of the liars were ever held accountable.

Let's examine Cameron's business:

Business Level: Founders Belivers Pin almost 2 years straight + additional consecutive months to today’s date (Mar – Apr 2014 as of this post)
Highest PV Bonus Bracket: 9% BV over our organization + Retail / Personal Use Volume.
Personal Width: 1
Depth: 2 wide on one sponsored leg.

Cameron is around the 6 to 9% bonus bracket. With his premiere membership and assuming he attends functions, he is LOSING MONEY! 6-9% will pay you around $100 a month (gross) which will leave you at a loss when factoring in business expenses. That doesn't account for time spent in the endeavor. Cameron says he is not in debt, but he doesn't mention that he profits from Amway. Most likely because his job covers his Amway/WWDB losses.

For the record, I did as an IBO, witness WWDB leaders offer advice such as having your family skip a meal to buy another tape/cd, or quitting your job to attend a function, after all, you can just get another job. You can skip paying your mortgage for about 3 months before the mortgage company forecloses (so you can attend a WWDB function). Greg Duncan taught us how stupid it was to take out loans (can you say hypocrite). I wonder if Mr. Duncan paid off all of his loans yet? LOL Brad Wolgamott taught about the 2% divorce rate (can you say hypocrite?).

Cameron then tries to discredit me by linking to David Steadson's blog. (IBOFightback). Steadson has already been discredited as a liar and referred to as a a cyber bully by Beth Dornan, who ran an Amway corporate blog.

As those who frequent the Opportunity Zone know, our conversations here are governed by a philosophy we call "civil discourse."

Civil discourse means we agree to disagree, but not to be disagreeable. In other words, I accept your right to have an opinion that differs from my own and ask that you do the same. In a word, it means respect. Bullies aren't allowed.
I was disturbed to read that someone who has been critical of this business has been harassed and disparaging information about him posted by a cyber bully.

Steadson, aka IBOFightback is the ONLY ONE who wrote disparaging articles about Amway critics.

Cameron then criticizes the fact that I occasionally use profanity on my blog. I have and I allow some of it. But nobody gets a handful of dirt in their face without dishing it out first. I've been threatened and had IBO's slander and libel my name. That is why I use the pseudo name "Joecool", to protect my true identity.

Why does Amway and WWDB continue to receive criticism? It's not because of Joecool or any other Amway critic. Amway and WWDB receives criticism because of the actions and behaviors of their IBO's. People are still lied to and tricked into meetings. People still overstate the income and effort needed to build Amway. People give the best case scenario without informing prospects of the typical IBO's experiences. The internet is still loaded with legitimate complaints about Amway and WWDB and their only response is to attack the critic rather than fixing the problems that leads to the criticism.

Good luck Cameron, I know you've been reading this blog. You've been an IBO 3 years and you have one leg with a few more downline. A WWDB leader once said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Were you shown a 2-5 year plan? Maybe it's time for you to sit down and come to grips with Amway and WWDB yourself. I truly hope you won't quit and take your blog down like all other WWDB IBO's I've encountered.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Joecool's View On Amway

So many IBO's and site visitors here drop by and ask why I am "bashing" Amway or MLM. The fact is that I do not alway talk about Amway or MLM in general. This blog is primarily about the training systems such as WWDB or Network 21 and at times, zany IBO behavior such as lying or tricking people into attending meetings. Occasionally, I get a classic forum troll such as Ohein56 AKA Kerry Hein who drops by from, another forum that I participate in.

Amway in itself is benign. It's a business opportunity (a poor one in my opinion), but what makes Amway into a financial trap is when these training systems come in and convince new IBO's that they cannot succeed without their training. In the end, the cost of these training systems are the cause of financial losses by IBO's. Amway products are generally priced higher than competitive products, thus they are difficult to sell, save for sympathetic family and friends. Without the movement of products, the IBO's play a money shuffling game where the money flows from the lower level IBO's to the higher level IBO's in the form of product bonuses and the purchase of tools and seminars.

The only way an IBO can eventually prosper is to sponsor enough downline so the downline can absorb the losses and pass bonuses up the chain. Being that many IBO's do nothing and many IBO's can't sponsor anyone, it's easy to see why so many IBO's lose money, get discouraged and quit. Many IBO's use the line that you can earn more than your sponsor, making the business legit. In MLM, many people earn more than their sponsors because many IBO's do nothing and quit. If IBO's would see where their dollars are going, they might get wise to the scheme.

Think about it. If you buy $300 worth of Amway products and get back $10 in the form of a 3% bonus (100 PV), the rest of the $$$ bonus you helped generate goes somewhere upline. In addition, if you are attending functions and buying cd's, etc, then you are also funneling money upline in that manner. In the meantime, your upline diamond is showing off a new sports car or telling you about some fabulous vacation which you helped to finance. If IBO's would truly be business owners with a business mentality, they would track and analyze where their dollars go and not blindly follow upline, they would recognize the scheme as well.

If you talk to your upline and they won't answer your questions honestly and candidly, you should wonder why they should be qualified to give you financial advice and advice about YOUR business if they cannot demonstrate they they have actually succeeded in accomplishing what they are selling you. If you attend functions and buy cd's where the diamond brags about buying a home in cash, has anyone ever verified these claims? Of if the diamond says they earn $50,000 a month, has anyone checked to see if it's true?

I doubt that diamonds live as well as they portray when a diamond lifestyle is full of expenses. Do the math. If a diamond grosses $250K and has kids and a stay at home mom, what kind of net income do they have. What about traveling to functions, medical insurance, and other business expenses. My guess is that diamonds live middle class lifestyles, save for some exceptional diamonds. I do not believe diamonds or Amway can save marriages or do any other extraordinary feats either. Diamonds are more likely like anyone else than not.

That's Joecool's take and I'm sticking with it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Amway Psychology?

The Psychology Behind The Presentation?

I’m not sure whether this plan was carefully crafted out or whether it just evolved, but the way some uplines show the plan is cleverly designed to suck people into their systems. If you aren’t aware or careful, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the presentation. The presentation is full of deception and I will try to point out these items in my analysis.

The speaker may talk about how he once thought he was “doing okay” in life. That he was making a living and able to meet his financial obligations. But he thought there might be more. One day he saw the plan and it changed his life. He did not realize he had gotten into a rut of going to work and going home every day and looking forward to his 2 weeks off each year. (This is relatable for many) That time and money are so important in life. Control of time and money is the key to success. Many people have lots of money but work all day and nite. Or people have time but are broke and can’t do much. The speaker might mention dreams or goals such as having an extra $500 a month or more. What would you do for an extra $500 a month. What about an extra $50,000 a year? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the wife stay home with the kids instead of leaving the family to go to work? Like the “Leave it to Beaver” days? (This gets the women excited)

The speaker will likely mention something about the economy and how prices always go up. The speaker may mention the 4 “I’s” that suck money out of your paycheck. The four I’s are Interest, Income Tax, Insurance and Inflation. The speaker may talk about how the government will take their cut and so on until you get your “net”. The speaker may mention how so many Americans are dead or broke by age 65, and that social security will collapse. (This instills fear in many people).

The speaker might also go on to mention how so many marriages are falling apart in the US because of financial stress. That couples work so hard that they have no family time and it hurts marriages. That people work so many hours these days that they are married to their desks. The “manager” of the office is the first one there and the last one to go home. That despite all of this work and effort, people are falling into debt. Credit cards maxed out, loans, trying to keep up with the Joneses. (Many people can relate to this)

But now, because he was looking for opportunity/open minded one day, he saw an opportunity. This opportunity changed his life and can do the same for you! The speaker now wakes up at the crack of noon. His wife stays home with him and the kids. They take nice vacations and they do what they want when they want. (Of course, who doesn’t? But is this true?) The opportunity takes advantage of the internet and allows you to leverage your time and money so that you can create a residual walk away income. (But nobody walks away do they?)

This is approximately the point in the presentation where they mention “Amway” At this point, the speaker will defend Amway, stating that if you can make money, does it matter.? If you can save money, does it matter? The speaker may go into the product line and mention partner stores and will likely show a 6-4-2 plan or a variation of it. In every case, they will show a best case scenario, not what is likely. Many prospects will leave thinking “all I need is six”. They don’t understand how unlikely it is to sponsor six platinums and there is no mention of the retention rates, the income most IBOs can expect, and firm questions will be deflected to the prospect’s inviter. The speaker may also discourage you from speaking to friends and family as they may have a bad experience but the diamond is successful and knows more about Amway than your family and friends.

Joe’s commentary: So the speaker becomes very relatable from the start. His situation in life will be like many in the audience. He will talk about doing okay,. But wanting more or looking for more. He talks about debts and many in the audience will also relate. They get people to think about dream cars or vacations. He talks about walk away income, but doesn’t mention that very very few ever make significant money and apparently, not many actually walk away either. They say you will make money and save money by doing the business. It’s hard to argue against that,.except most people will not make money or save money. In fact most people, if they participate fully or partially in the training system, they will lose money. For the dedicated IBOs, many of them LOSE LOTS OF MONEY. The plan is crafted out to sound sensible and relatable, but many IBOs will give it a try and shortly after, will realize that the system doesn’t work, that the reputation of Amway IBOs is soiled and sponsoring people or even getting people to see the plan is a barrier that most people simply cannot overcome. At least if you know what’s going on, you may be able to avoid the trap.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Amway Retirement?

One of the things that many IBOs mistakenly believe is that they will build their Amway business and then they will have the ability to "walk away" from the business while the income continues to flow in. I believe if there was such an incredible benefit such as lifelong residual income that could be achieved from Amway, I'm fairly certain that Amway would advertise this as a benefit of being an IBO. But Amway does not. It is very likely that your LOS such as WWDB or one of the others will promote this benefit while telling you that your bext chance to achieve it is by subscribing to their "system".

One thing that goes unnnoticed all too often is that there seems to be nobody who is actually retired and living off the efforts of having built a big Amway business once upon a time. Seems that even the crown ambassadors still have busy lifestyles running from function to function and participating in other business related activities. While many of these leaders may claim they love their downlines or some other bunk, it is my belief that these leaders keep working their Amway businesses for one reason only. That is they need to keep working in order to keep the income flowing in.

The diamond lifestyle that is often portrayed may seem like a great goal or dream to achieve, but the fact of the matter is that a "diamond lifestyle" cannot be sustained on diamond income. The average diamond, according to Amway, earns a six figure income which includes some bonuses. While that may seem like a great amount of income, it's not nearly enough to sustain the kind of lifestyle portrayed by diamonds. Even if that income is supplemented by income from the sale of tools, you can't fly your family around the country first class to do all kinds of functions and still end up with much leftover to own fancy homes and cars.

If I deposited $1000 in the bank and never touch the money, the bank would pay me a certain amount of interest each year, guaranteed. That is residual income. In Amway, you can basically earn income in two ways. You can sell products for a profit, but there are problems with this. First off, Amway products in general are more expensive than local retailers. It is why you hear so many justifications about quality and concentration, because you are hard pressed to argue cost. Secondly, you are severely restricted from advertising, thus selling can be difficult. The other way to generate more income is to build a downline in hopes that the downline will help you to leverage your volume. But then your downline will have the same problem that you had in moving products. That being said, even if you achieve some level such as emerald or diamond, your business will immediately begin to fall apart once you stop working because attrition will take its toll. It is why there are hoards of "former" platinums. If platinums are not sustainable, then neither is any other level.

There are many many instances of diamonds quitting, resigning, or falling out of qualification. People come and go in this business every day. Do you really think you can bank on retirement and residual income under these circumstances? If you believe that, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Amway Leaders Put Down Jobs?

One of the things that IBO leaders do quite often in their recruitment pitch for Amway, is to put down people's jobs. They criticize people's bosses and the fact that an employee needs to report somewhere to earn a living. They try to paint the picture of a job being compared to slavery. They do this apparently to make people feel uncomfortable with their present situation so they will be open to looking at the Amway opportunity as a means to make a living. They may call a job "just over broke" or "jackass of the boss".

So I will ask - What's wrong with a job? A job is not slavery. People apply for their jobs and they agree to a wage or salary in exchange for their services. Certainly, you can leverage a higher wage or salary if you have an education or a skill, such as being able to work in the construction field. A job ususally offers more than just a wage. A job often allows one to have benefits such as medical insurance, a 401K retirement plan, and some other benefits such as paid vacation and/or sick leave.

A recent site visitor bemoans concept of working for minimum wage, where a husband and wife would earn in the neighborhood of 30K if they both work full time at minimum wage. Of course, a high school student can earn minimum wage so two adults only able to generate that kind of income makes me think my site visitor is speaking of people with very little to offer an employer. Most people may start out as entry level, but earn more and more as they gain experience and can offer more to their employer. An employee might also be able to promote themselves if they can prove to the employer that they can manage more responsibility.

What does the average Amway business owner experience? $115 a month income (which is probably way above average)? Most IBOs as outlined in "the plan" earn about $10 a month and may have expenses such as standing order which will take away from that tiny profit. Thus an average business building IBO stands to net a loss. It is very easy to look at the math and make that conclusion. A dedicated IBO attending meetings and functions and buying the other tools will likely spend more than $200 a month on average to be on the system. Couples will spend more.

So I ask again. What's wrong with a job? You have a net gain each and every month, be able to pay for your living expenses, and allow you to contribute to society by paying taxes. The average CORE IBO is a drain on the US tax paying society by spending money on standing order and functions and then deducting these expenses when filing their taxes. The only beneficiary is the upline leaders who sell standing orders and function tickets. If the IRS actually took IBOs to task, I'd be interested to see what kinds of deductions would be not allowed? I bet it would help the US treasury to recover all that money.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Can You Make A Living Selling Amway?

I've been blogging for many nears now and one of the conclusions I have made is that there really is no defense for debating the merits of an Amway business when the IBO is participating in a system such as WWDB or Network 21. I have no issues with IBOs who sign up and sell actual products to non IBO customers, but these sales oriented IBOs are very rare. Most IBOs who are entrenched in a system are often focused on sponsoring downline because that is the only way an IBO can achieve certain levels such as emerald or diamond. The emerald or diamond level is the goal of many because it is allegedly the level where an IBI can "walk away" and enjoy barrels of cash rolling in for the rest of their lives. I find it ironic that even crown ambassadors keep busy schedules and have not walked away into a quite life of retirement and uncountable amounts of money.

In general, it would take about 100 IBOs or so to make up a platinum level business. That's 1% at best and even less when you factor in IBOs who do nothing or IBOs who start and quit. In my estimation, a very dedicated hard core IBO would only begin to break even or make a little bit of income at the 4000 PV or platinum level. Of course, your business structure would be a factor in determining how much you can earn. Sponsoring width gives you more profit and sponsoring depth allegedly gives you some stability. Thus you could reasonably argue that about a fraction of 1% of IBOs break even or make a little bit of income. What real businessman would even consider opening a business where your chance of making a profit is less than 1%? Yes, you can argue that Amway is a business and not a game of chance, but a prudent decision also factors in your chances of success.

Other factors that would make Amway unattractive is that the products are priced higher (in general) than comparable or the same products that are available at people's local retailers. Yes, Amway folks will argue quality and concentration factors but those arguments are simply justification for the higher prices. The vast majority of people are satisfied getting cheaper prices at Walmart. Also, IBOs are restricted from advertising their goods, thus are relegated to person to person advertising, which is probably the least effective methos of getting the word out. Higher prices and unfamiliar products results in what many groups have - IBOs who "buy from themselves" in order to earn their bonuses. Also, any bonus that is earned by most IBOs is just a partial refund on having overpaid for a product. Not to mention unless you are at a higher level in the business, your upline(s) get most of the bonus, whether they helped you or not.

Yes, it is possible for some people to make some money in Amway. Yes, some people do make some good money from Amway. It is not possible for all IBOs to make money unless they are selling products to non IBOs and we know that most IBOs don't sell anything or sell just a few items to others. We also know that the tools systems generally eat away any small bonuses IBOs earn and leave them with a net loss. For the truly dedicated IBOs, the losses can mount into thousands of dollars and more.

Can someone make a living with Amway? The answer is that it's possible but not likely. But as to whether the Amway business and associated tools is a good idea? For thet there is no defense.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Join Amway And Walk The Beaches Of The World?

So many IBOs apparently get involved in the Amway business because they are under the impression that one day they will get rich. That much is clear. The uplines are smart enough, though, to say the right thing such as Amway is not gt rich quick. By doing this, the new IBOs or prospects can think they are in a legitimate business because they have been told it is not a get rich quick scheme. In fact they may even be told that Amway is hard work. But the bottom line is that they must have been told they will eventually get rich or that they willl make it if they will only follow the system.

By saying that Amway is not get rich quick, the upline can also hook you into the tools systems for several years. They will say you need tools, just as a carpenter needs a saw and a hammer. But an Amway IBO's role is simple. Sell products, buy products, sponsor downline. You wouldn't need a 500 page manual and a bunch of cds to learn how to turn on a television would you? Yet so many people get sucked into functions and standing orders under the false idea that these are investments into your business. But still, people will do this because they have been sold on the idea that they will eventually get rich in Amway. 2-5 years to achieve financial freedom seems like a get rich (quick) scheme to me.

I may be repeating some of these questions ad nauseum but it should reveal an answer that IBOs and prospects need. Where are the people who built their business right in 2-5 years and chose the option of walking away and njoying financial freedom while the money keeps rolling in? In over 50 years of existence, I don't know of anyone, save for Amway's owners, who can walk away and have significant income. Also, If this were an IBO benefit, why doesn't Amway list this as a benefit? Maybe it doesn't exist? Maybe it's just a myth?

Do you really believe that all the diamonds could be anywhere in the world with anyone they choose, but they simply choose to be at your function because they love you? Isn't it more likely that all those diamonds at your function are there because they love your money (from ticket sales)? Seriously, if all the diamonds could be walking the beaches of the world with unlimited money rolling in, I'm sure some of them would choose that option instead of being in Edmonton or Portland for a Dream Night in January.

If you believe you truly will get rich in Amway, remember that Amway says the average active IBO earns $202 a month. If you do get rich in Amway one day, you;ll have many downline losing money in order for you to be successful. Can you get rich in Amway? For most I seriously doubt it. You are more likely to fill your garage with stuff and lose money from attending functions than the possibility of getting rich in a person to person business.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Trading Your Hours For Dollars?

One of the ways that upline diamonds would put down jobs was to toss in the phrase that a job was simply trading hours for dollars. As if it were demeaning to have a job where you got paid for your time. I believe it's all relative. Being that many IBos are young and maybe working in more entry level types of jobs, then yeah, your hours wage might not be that great. If you earn say $10 an hour, then you might be struggling financially and it may take time before your skills and knowledge increase to a point where your experience is worth more money. What if you had a job paying $1000 an hour and earned $160,000 a month? Is that a lousy deal trading hours for dollars? I think not!

Conversely, having a business can be good or bad also. If you have an Amway business earning less than $100 a month and you spend $200 on functions, standing orders and other training and motivational materials, then you are losing money. You would be better off working for free. That is still a better alternative than working a business where you are losing money. I think most people agree that a platinum group typically has a 100 or more IBOs. Thus a platinum is in the top one half of 1% of all IBOs. I have heard that the platinum level is where you start to break even or make a little profit, depending on your level of tool consumption. If platinums are barely making a profit, then the other 99+% of IBOs are likely losing money. How much is that worth per hour?

I think uplines cleverly trick IBOs into thinking that a job is bad. Trading hours for dollars, afterall, sounds like some kind of indentured servant of sorts. But in the end, what matters is your bottom line. If you are an IBO with little or no downline, and/or not much in terms of sales to non IBOs/customers, then you are losing money each and every month if you are attending functions and buying standing orders. Your 10-12 hours a week of Amway work is costing you money! But if you spend 10-12 hours a week, even at minimum wage, then you might be making about 300 to 350 a month groww income. After taxes, you make about 250 to 300. At least trading hours for dollars gets you a guaranteed net gain at the end of the month.

Uplines trick you into a "business mentality" where you think that working for a net loss is just a part of business. IBOs should realize that a business promoted as low risk and no overhead should be one where you can profir right away. Instead, IBos are taught to delay gratification, or to reinvest any profit back into their business in the form of tools and functions, which results in a net loss. If that's the case I would choose trading hours for dollars.

Remember, trading hours for dollars is not a bad deal if you are making enough dollars per hour. And even those who make less, are better off that those who "run a business" but end up with a net loss. It's all relative and hopefully, this message will help new or prospective IBOs who are being enticed to join the Amway business opportunity. Good luck to those with jobs and those with businesses. You can be successful either way. Remember that!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Amway Friends For Life?

I read on another blog recently written by an IBO, that your real friends would not walk away or cease to be your friends because of involvement in Amway. I do not believe your good friends would abandon anyone because of their involvement in Amway. However, they might avoid you for a while if you are always talking about Amway, or bugging them to join Amway. They might also feel that it is the IBO who has deserted the friendship in order to attend the endless number of Amway meetings and conventions.

As a former IBO myself, I know that I sacrificed many birthday parties and backyard barbeques. Our upline told us that these minor sacrifices would pay us back a hundredfold in the future. Looking back, not a single IBO crossline or my sponsor, ever got any significant payout from Amway. I believe that some IBO's relationships with friends and family may suffer, but not because of their involvement in Amway per say, but because the IBO is putting the relatiionships on hold while they pursue their Amway dream. It's almost like a friend who leaves home to attend an out of town college. Eventually they come home and your friendship is still there.

As an IBO, I remember our upline telling us that we needed to separate ourselves at times, to avoid negative. I believe this is still true today, based on what I see coming from current IBOs. IBOs might call it "association", where they think they are "hanging out" with successful people, but the reality is that the masses of IBOs are broke dreamers hanging out with each other.

Ironically, our upline taught us that we as IBOs were all friends for life. I recall a high level WWDB leader commenting that an IBO who "quits" is leaving their friendship, therefore the remaining group is not responsible for the failed relationship between current and former IBOs. When an IBO says friends for life, what they really mean for most is that you are friends for life as long as you never quit Amway. This is one of the reasons why Amway has been compared to a cult.

Shortly after leaving the Amway business, my father passed away. Not a single person upline or crossline called or visited to pay their respects or to express their sympathy. Friends for life indeed.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Your Chances Of Amway Success?

Many people consider the platinum level in Amway as a significant achievement in Amway. While it may be nice to achieve that level and gain recognition from the Amway corporation, I will point out that there was a study done in Wisconsin where the attorney general analyzed and found that platinums on average, lost money. The study is somewhat dated, but I will also point out that today, there are MORE expenses associated with running an Amway business than before. (Voicemail, books, functions, standing orders, shipping). I would guess that it's possible that platinums lose more today than when the Wisconsin study was done.

A typical platinum group often has 100 or more downline IBOs. Thus a logical conclusion is that less than 1% of IBOs can reach that level. It is also, apparently rare to maintain that level. Factoring in people who quit, one can conclude that only a fraction of 1% ever reach platinum. My former upline diamond had 7 frontline platinums in his heyday. Actually, 6 of them were ruby level. None of them hold the platinum level today. So you have a less than 1% chance of reaching platinum and then you are unlikely to be able to maintain that level.

What serious prospective business owner would even consider opening a business where you have such a tiny chance of success? Even those who achieve platinum are likely to lose that level. If platinums cannot maintain their level, then it's easy to see why there are former diamonds as well. It seems that people are willing to take a chance on an Amway business because the start up cost is low. But what is the point of doing all of that when the chance of making money is negligible?

To compound the problem, many IBOs spend a lot of time and money building an Amway business that is unlikely to give them any return on their investment. I'd guess that the average serious IBO would spend $250 a month or more on tools. That money invested over a number of years in mutual funds would give you a much better chance of achieving some dreams. Even putting the money in the bank would make you better off than the vast majority of IBOs. A serious business owner would want to know their realistic chance of making money. For some strange reason, prospects and IBOs seem to ignore this reality. They dream of only the best case scenario or what is possible. They seem to ignore what is likely.

It is because uplines are in the business of selling tools and distributorships. They are not truly interested in your long term sustainable success. If you don't believe me, try to stop purchasing standing orders and function tickets and see how much longer you are edified and given help from upline. Seriously, would a real business owner be interested in a less than 1% chance of success?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Amway Or A Job?

One of the things upline leaders apparently do is to disparage people with jobs. Oh, they would say we needed people to wait on our tables and clean our toilets, but in general, jobs were put down and basically the group was told that Amway is their best chance at achieving financial freedom, giving them the ability to flush their jobs. Ironically, IBO's jobs are what funds their Amway businesses. Most IBOs would be out of business within weeks if not for their job income funding their Amway businesses.

The key selling point appears to be the 2-5 years of part time work rather than working a job for 30 - 40 years and then retiring on social security which may or may not be there when you retire. This plants a fear in people about the future and then the Amway opportunity is presented in a positive light because the Amway opportunity comes with a low start up cost. What uplines do not mention is how the opportunity can become a money pit as the monthly defacto 100 PV quota starts to add up. It is my guess that if people only bought items they truly needed, these IBOs would likely move 100 PV every three months, unless they are actively selling goods to non IBO customers.

When an IBO finally agrees to register, it is then that the hidden costs are revealed. Many uplines will introduce standing orders and functions and present these tools as vital to IBO success. Most new IBOs don't know better and feel subtle pressure to conform and give it a try. Some upline may loan some tools to downline in the beginning but evemtually, the IBO will be encouraged to be a "serious" business owner who should be purchasing their own tools to loan to their downline and the cycle goes on.

If you examine some version of the Amway recruitment plan, you will see that most IBOs are at the 100 PV level, which will reward you with a monthly bonus of about $10or so. If that same IBO subscribes to the tools system, than IBO will likely be losing over $100 a month not including the product purchases. And because many IBOs have been convinced that working a job is so horrible, that they can be convinced that this condition of losing money is temporary and that untold wealth is right around the corner. Sadly, for most, this condition is the norm and even the sponsorship of a few downline, the losses continue to mount. Yet many are convinced that this is better than a job.

Ironically, a job allows people to pay their monthly bills, feed their families and many people enjoy their work and co workers. While upline leaders may convince you otherwise, it is this very same excuse upline leaders use when asked why they are still working instead of walking the beaches of the world collecting massive amounts of residual income. I would encourage IBOs to truly analyze their efforts in Amway and determine if it is beneficial to your finances. In most cases, your Amway efforts ONLY benefits your upline's finances. For most who get involved, the Amway opportunity is not better than a job. Be careful!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Amway Routine?

I send this message to inform IBOs tha they should be aware of their circumstances in business. What I mean is when you are a new IBO, it is common for you to buy/sell your 100 PV, and perhaps listen to some cds. If you basically did what your sponsor or upline advised, you made your 100 PV bonus level and you will receive a bonus from Amway for about $10. If you did as advised by your upline/sponsor, then you likely made a namelist and started contacting some potential business partners aka prospects. You're probably a bit excited because things are going as you expected. You did your part and a bonus is on it's way to your doorstep. Heck, you may have even sponsored a friend or relative because of your newly found excitement and enthusiasm.

But what happens after a few months? If you are still doing 100 PV and have no downline, then what are the chances that you will ever achieve anything? Your excitement is wearing off and now the Amway opportunity is becoming "work". You are also starting to notice that it is starting to get expensive to continue to purchase products, many of which you never purchased before. For example, were you buying cases of energy drinks and "high end" vitamins before Amway? Did you buy $50 cases of bottled water before Amway? Supposedly their laundry soap and other cleaners are highly concentrated, therefore your consumables are the nutrition/vitamin products.

Even if you managed to find some downline, are they duplicating what you do? Are they also moving volume and sponsoring downline? If not, what are your chances of fulfilling the 6-4-2 plan or some similar version of it. When I saw the plan, I thought it was reasonable and I was on my way to platinum. What I discovered though, is that as you progress, upline has greater expectations of you and that includes more tool purchases. (I was in WWDB). In the end, my recommended tool purchases ate up any profits I had and at the 4000 level, I was just about breaking even, which means I was at a loss when factoring in my time spent and other miscellaneous expenses such as gas money.

Where are you at? If you're been in for more than a year, are you on schedule to become platinum or are you at 200 PV with one downline? Maybe you have a small group with 600 PV? You still aren't close to a net profit. For the vast majority of people, success is not right around the corner. What's around the corner for most is more time lost, more money expended, and no progress. If your group is now growing each and every month, you are sliding backwards. If you don't constantly have new IBOs coming into the group, you are probably stagnant. With about half of IBOs dropping out each year, keeping a group together is a tremendous task.

IBOs, where are you at after a few months? Where are you at after a year? If you haven't gone platinum, it is nearly a certainty that it will never happen, despite what your upline might say. The facts are there, it's a matter of whether you want to believe it or not.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Imagine Amway Island?

Imagine an island with 100 adult residents. One guy gets sponsored into Amway from a cousin in another area off the island. Well, the island residents are a pretty tigh knit group so the one IBO immediately sponsors his six best friends and eventually, all 100 island residents. They are all dead serious about the Amway business so they all work hard, but because everyone is an IBO, they can only self consume 100 PV each. Thus the 100 IBOs move 10,000 PV each month. The group as a whole generates about 30,000 BV and the group receives $7500 in bonus money from Amway. Of course, the first IBO sponsored is now a platinum receiving most of that money with the rest of the group receiving smaller bonuses.

Being serious IBOs, they all get standing order, books of the month, and travel by air to functions. They pay on average about $250 a month for their Amway training/tools. Thus the group pays about $25,000 a month for the training that will one day allow them to retire and quit their jobs. The island community is losing a net of $17,500 from their local economy each month. However, there is one resident IBO who is making a nice income urging everyone one. Let's evaluate the group.

The platinum IBO is making a nice income and will receive a $20,000 bonus at the end of the year. His 6 downline friends make just about enough to break even (approximately 1000 PV) or lose a little. The rest of the residents have lost over $200,000 ($17,500 a month). The guy who owned the local grocery store went out of business and all the entertainment related business went down because the residents had no disposable income to spend money on anything except for Amway related activities. Eventually they all quit, including the platinum because once his group quit, he too, began to lose money.

Now Amway defenders will cry that this could never happen, but it shows that even if you could get everyone in the US to join, this scenario is what would happen. I believe the Amway name and reputation is for the most part, saturated in the US. Nearly everyone will have heard the Amway name and/or will know someone who had a brush with Amway. Because of the tool peddlers such as WWDB, BWW, or Network 21, there are likely millions of people in the US who ended up with a bad experience, perhaps tricked into attending a meeting, or lied to about something related to Amway.

While this story is fictional, it is what would happen if there was a city where everyone joined the business. It is what happens today. Few people benefit at the expense of their downline. And as usual, it is the tools that drive people to lose money - on Amway island, or anywhere else.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Amway IBO Sales Or Charity?

I know Amway defenders will talk about some of the sales they make, and that's fine and good, but when I look at the kinds of sales they make, it is usually insignificant. I recently read some comments that sort of made me laugh. A prospect apparently was invited to an Amway recruitment meeting by a friend, and out of courtesy, sat through the presentation (which nobody else attended) and politely declined to register. The commenter went on to say that after the meeting, he felt sorry for his friend and purchased something off of his friend's IBO website, and it felt like making a charitable contribution. Makes me wonder since Amway's products are mostly consumed by IBOs themselves and I believe less than 5% of Amway good actually made it into the hands of a non IBO customer.

But now I wonder out of the tiny amount of IBO retail sales, how many of those sales are basically charitable contributions made to IBOs by family and friends who simply feel sorry for their acquainted IBO? When I first declined to join Amway under my eventual sponsor, they did ask me to buy some of their goods. But being a single male, my age group demographic didn't really match me with the products they were pushing. If I remember correctly, I ended up buying the liquid Amway car wax. While the car wax worked as well as the other leading brands, I recall that I paid about $12 for it back in 1995 or so. I can currently get a jumbo sized bottle od Nu-Finish or Astroshield liquid car wax for $7.99 at Target or other local retailers, and at times, the store puts them on special sales for $5.99. So basically, I am getting about twice as much car wax for the price if I purchase my car wax on a store special. I know Amway zealots will want to compare the price with an online sourcem but as I said, I make my purchase in person and wait for store soecials which occurs every couple of months.

I know at times, I have seen other family and friends involved in MLM. And while I was once there, I now see their attempts as somewhat pathetic, especially when they are basically walking the same path I did about 12 years ago as an IBO. I do not discourage them, but simply decline to see their plan or register as a downline. I have at times, also made charitable contributions to some friends who had become involved in MLM. If nothing else, just to be supportive of a friend. Ultimately, these MLM friends eventually figured things out on their own and quit as I did. Some of them follow my blog and some just quietly faded into the sunset. They do not run an informative blog as I do, but not everyone can or will. (Sound familar?)

However, after reading the comments about the polite friend who bought an Amway product from a friend, I have to wonder whether IBOs are making true retail sales or merely receiving charitable contributions from friends and family in the form of Amway product purchases?

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Reality Of Amway?

One of the things that attracts many IBOs to the Amway opportunity is the idea that they can work part time, 2-5 years and gain a "shortcut" to ongoing and voluminous wealth. Many of the prospects don't have the kind of income or resources that they would like, so the possibility of a shortcut to these trappings sounds like a good idea. They sign up and get started, and then the realities of the business sets in.

100 PV, is the defacto minimum quota for business building IBOs. It costs about $300 to purchase 100 PV worth of products. How many young and single people or couples for that matter, use and/or need $300 worth of household products each month? How many of these same people can actually afford to expend that much cash on household products? The pitch is to change where you shop but how many people were buying these kinds of goods prior to Amway? My guess is none. I know I purchased many items, including vitamins, and I didn't need or use before Amway. But my desire to be teachable and to be an example to my downline kept me buying the goods, and trying to pawn off some stuff on friends and relatives to lessen my PV burden.

I also found that getting people to see the plan was no easy task. While my business was growing, it took more and more effort to recruit downline and I can see where many IBOs would reach the saturation point where there simply aren't anymore viable recruits and they might need to resort to cold contacting in order to generate potential prospects. This is probably why there are stories of IBOs stalking people in bookstores, malls and supermarkets. Even when people saw the plan, there wasn't a high percentage of new people signing up. It is why building and maintaining a business is a nearly impossible task, and it is why I believe there aren't people who retire, walk away from their Amway businesses and enjoy six figure residual incomes for life.

The more likely scenario is an IBO signing up, buy and using the products and tools and slowly but surely build up debt. There are countless stories of ex IBOs who got fired up, started building the business and fouond that in a relatively short period of time, found themselves in thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in debt. All the while upline was encouraging them to buy more tools and attend more function, even when they were not profitable. In my opinion, this is confirmation that uplines care more about their tools profits that they do about downline success. I sat in functions where upline would teach about reducing debt, but in the same breath, say it was okay to go deeper in debt if it was to purchase more tools. Self serving advice.

It is why I believe this opportunity, along with the tools system, will nearly guarantee IBO failure. It is sad, but it is also a reality.